How to live longer: Stress accelerates ageing says study

Ruby Barker: Bridgerton star addresses mental health struggles

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Publishing their analysis in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, scientists say stress accelerates the ageing of the immune system increasing a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and illness from infections.

Lead author of the study Erick Klopack said of the results: “As the world’s population of older adults increases, understanding disparities in age-related health is essential.

“This study helps clarify mechanisms involved in accelerated immune ageing.”

Conclusions on the impact of stress were reached after analysis of over 5,000 adults over the age of 50; it was found those with higher stress scores had older immune profiles.

Examples of stress noted by the researchers included traumatic events, job strain, everyday stressors, and discrimination.

While some forms of stress of unavoidable, the scientists behind the study said there were some ways to reduce one’s risk, changes to exercise and diet.

Klopack said: “In this study, after statistically controlling for poor diet and low exercise, the connection between stress and accelerated immune ageing wasn’t as strong.

“What this means is people who experience more stress tend to have poorer diet and exercise habits, partly explaining why they have more accelerated immune ageing.”

Exercise plays a key role in mental health as the action of exercising releases a series of hormones and chemicals, improve the individual’s mental wellbeing.

Furthermore, an improved diet means the vitamins going into a person’s body are more beneficial to the overall health of the individual.

While a common assumption, most of the time if someone eats well, they feel well.

Alongside exercising and eating a balanced diet, the benefits of seeking help cannot be underestimated.

Often the hardest but most important step is to start talking.

Although a common phrase, a burden shared can be a burden halved; the human body can only carry pain for so long before breaking.

It is a pain being carried by more and more people in the UK as the country experiences what NHS leaders have described as a second pandemic as the numbers of people with mental health conditions grows sharply.

Two years of restrictions and disruption have taken their toll on the nation’s youth, many of whom are struggling to cope.

As well as on-the-ground reports from young people, the crisis is reflected in the figures too.

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